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Where's the "IronPerl" Project?

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the more-than-one-way dept.

Perl 390

pondlife writes "A friend asked me today about using some Microsoft server components from Perl. Over the years he's built up a large collection of Perl/COM code using Win32::OLE and he had planned on doing the same thing here. The big problem is that as with many current MS APIs, they're available for .NET only because COM is effectively deprecated at this point. I did some Googling, expecting to find quickly the Perl equivalent of IronPython or IronRuby. But to my surprise I found almost nothing. ActiveState has PerlNET, but there's almost no information about it, and the mailing list 'activity' suggests it's dead or dying anyway. So, what are Perl/Windows shops doing now that more and more Microsoft components are .NET? Are people moving to other languages for Windows administration? Are they writing wrappers using COM interop? Or have I completely missed something out there that solves this problem?"

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390 comments

Python is available (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296637)

With Python, Perl is no longer needed. Upgrade to Python dump Perl.

Re:Python is available (1)

Zsub (1365549) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296683)

Complete rewrite! FTW! Get real man. Although some quick research does reveal that even though it still is somewhat of a personal taste matter, Python does seem to have certain advantages. Of course, you could always try Java...

BOOBIES!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296723)

... are not for Senator Obama, it has been discovered he is a member of the GNAA!

--
Ron Paul

Incredible moment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296689)

Eight years on slashdot. And finally I get a first post. YES.

This is how it must feel to win Olympic gold medal.

Re:Incredible moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296817)

Epic fail there, buddy.

Re:Incredible moment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296925)

Oh no sir, I made the original post as anon too :)

Complete win, and it feel so good.

As the NRA says.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296735)

From my cold, dead hands!

Re:Python is available (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296805)

It turns out that code written is Perl is actually unmaintainable garbage. Sure, it works. But it really is a write-only language. Most businesses (which is what MS is catering to) care about structured code that can be maintained, not just stuff you banged out to get the job done.

Now a Perl lover will jump in and say that you can write Perl so that it's maintainable, and you can write Python or Ruby so that it's unreadable. It's true, but both are hard to do. Businesses are looking to idiot-proof as much as possible, since most of their developers are probably idiots. Hence the love for VB and Java. I can't imagine anyone commissioning a software project to seriously consider Perl, especially on windows.

Precisely! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296995)

Python makes so much sense. There is no reason to use Perl in 2008. Build applications around PostgreSQL, Python, FreeBSD. This is the scalable and maintainable future.

Re:Python is available (4, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297447)

Most businesses (which is what MS is catering to) care about structured code that can be maintained, not just stuff you banged out to get the job done.

The hell they do.

What? (5, Funny)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296643)

Perl/Windows shops? WTF?

That's like buying an extremely overpowered, difficult to setup and impossible to maintain turbo for your Yugo.

Re:What? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296741)

Microsoft was shipping Perl interpreters for Windows at least as far back as the Windows NT 4 Resource Kits (like 1998?). There is a long history of Perl on Windows.

Masochism is rife within IT (5, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296747)

Some people aren't happy until they have the worst of all worlds.

"Because I can".

 

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

stas2k (951288) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296915)

Actually, I remember reading somewhere that Microsoft uses build system written in Perl to compile Windows. Ironic, isn't it?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297169)

Your information is outdated...That may have been true ages ago, but everything is moving to MSBuild (.NET, C#).

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297297)

And where did you get your information? Why would Windows, which is 20 years old, move to MSBuild in just a few years? Why would Microsoft do a gratuitous rewrite more than anyone else?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297457)

The original Windows is 23 years old and hasn't been updated since Windows ME. NT based versions of windows are only 15 years old so it is more likely that they upgraded. As to weather they really have or not I have no clue.

A bit O/T, but (5, Funny)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296649)

I _love_ perl. It's so simple, anyone can use it. In fact, the other day I found my 1½ yYO in front of the computer, and she had written a fully working email reader in perl. Truely amazing.

Re:A bit O/T, but (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296669)

Unfortunately, this being Perl, she had been trying to write a word processor :)

Re:A bit O/T, but (5, Funny)

PrinceOfStorms (568367) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296717)

Not to be competitive or anything, but the email reader my cat wrote in perl this morning included a Bayesian spam filter. Did your child think of including that, huh?

Re:A bit O/T, but (3, Funny)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296727)

To be honest, no. Seriously, though, she's not that smart - I think she was actually trying to write a FPS game.

Re:A bit O/T, but (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296869)

Shit,

I dropped a coffee mug on my keyboard this morning and it implemented the entire Porter stemming [wikipedia.org] algorithm in 5 lines.

Re:A bit O/T, but (2, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296793)

I _love_ perl. It's so simple, anyone can use it. In fact, the other day I found my 1½ yYO in front of the computer, and she had written a fully working email reader in perl. Truely amazing.

Smalltalk would have been much more suited to the job.

Re:A bit O/T, but (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296843)

Heck yeah! You could even use it to build a site that could DDOS server farms. How could you top that!?

Re:A bit O/T, but (1)

bratwiz (635601) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296983)

Apparently there are quite a number of folks here who are not smarter than a 1-1/2 year old...

Don't if this would help but.... (5, Informative)

prayag (1252246) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296681)

here goes nothing Programming Perl in Dot Net [amazon.com]

Re:Don't if this would help but.... (5, Funny)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296733)

oh god, At first I read the "Programming Perl in Dot Net" as "Programing in Perl is Not Death"

Re:Don't if this would help but.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297029)

oh god, At first I read your post as "I am a gigantic wank"

No one made it cause no one cares (-1, Troll)

cyber-dragon.net (899244) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296707)

No... people are just moving away from Windows for ANY administration, or anything of real value. Last two companies I worked for Windows was on the way out with only a few holdouts.

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296743)

No... people are just moving away from Windows for ANY administration, or anything of real value.

The figures on this simply don't support that claim. Your anecdotal evidence of two places you worked it meaningless.

If anything I'd say this is because many people consider Perl's time to have passed and no longer see a reason to use it in any significant project. Perl is a typical example of a jack of all trades, master of none. These days with so many well-designed languages to choose from it's a great deal easier and more productive to learn several languages that each do one paradigm well and use them as applicable instead of trying to get by using just Perl.

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297183)

many people consider Perl's time to have passed and no longer see a reason to use it in any significant project.

Ho, lo, and behold. Many people consider that, and many don't. One can use Perl in a dozen of ways in any type of project, one just has to know it enough so as to use it where it's appropriate and not use it for everything like a madman. I've known people who'd use Perl for literally everything, well, god keep us from such people in any kind of project. But, I wouldn't say, even if Perl is so many years old, that it hasn't got it's place. It does, and I still enjoy using it for stuff from time to time.

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (5, Informative)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297363)

The figures on this simply don't support that claim. Your anecdotal evidence of two places you worked it meaningless.

If anything I'd say this is because many people consider Perl's time to have passed and no longer see a reason to use it in any significant project.

Funny.. I'd like to see the figures behind your claims that "many people consider Perl's time to have passed".

A quote from CIO.com story entitled "PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, Python, and Tcl Today: The State of the Scripting Universe" (8/29/08)

"Of all the scripting languages, Perl offers the biggest installed base of applications, of code, of integrated systems, of skilled programmers. It has the lowest defect rate of any open-source software product. It is ported to essentially every hardware architecture and operating systems, from embedded control systems to mainframes. It is optimized for speed, for memory footprint, for programmer productivity. It has readily-accessible libraries for all types of programming tasks: Web application development, systems and network integration and management, end-user application development, middleware programming, REST and service-oriented architecture programming. Perl is ideal for the organization that takes charge of its own IT future."

Other interesting stats and info throughout the story..

full article [cio.com]

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297637)

Everything that mentions just shows that Perl was popular and still has a wide base of installs and knowledgeable users as a result. A better measure of its standing now would be to list all the big apps that have been created recently using Perl. I can think of plenty for a dozen other languages, but honest to God nothing springs to mind for Perl.

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (4, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297481)

These days with so many well-designed languages to choose from it's a great deal easier and more productive to learn several languages that each do one paradigm well

and then join them all together ... using perl.

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (0, Redundant)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296757)

nonsense. windows is very very firmly entrenched in corporate IT. a more likely explanation is that it's an odd combination that no one cares about. perl really isn't all that great anymore, it's syntax is more complex and it's got no speed or other advantages over the other 10+ languages that can fill the gap.

and before you start ranting about windows is a poor web platform http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/today/top.avg.html [netcraft.com] .

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (1)

Tim99 (984437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297063)

and before you start ranting about windows is a poor web platform http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/today/top.avg.html [netcraft.com] .

The way that I read that link was that 2 sites out of 50 used Windows, 1 site used Linux, and the other 47 sites used UNIX System V/BSD.
Well, I guess that the real UNIX stuff I had to learn 30 years ago was useful after all...

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (0)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297091)

look at what site is number 2. no doubt at all bsd/unix is awesome, but win 2003 is NOT a bad web platform by any means, and for many purposes it's very effective

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (1)

John Betonschaar (178617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297531)

It'd be interesting to see what the distribution of web servers between Windows & the rest is when you completely take out the uptime. I'd guess Windows' share of the web server market is a lot bigger than 2/50 = 4%. Maybe the 2 windows servers listed are just administered by brilliant admins, have zero load or run on a hardware/software combo that has been untouched since Windows 2003 was actually released... Or they're just spoofing the server response, something that has been brought up before when netcraft stats where involved...

Windows 2003 probably isn't all that bad, but I still wouldn't want to have it on my server...

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297605)

use the the same logic on the linux servers, there's only one listed on there.

What color are the power LEDs on those servers? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297133)

and before you start ranting about windows is a poor web platform http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/today/top.avg.html [netcraft.com] .

Your theory appears to be that Windows is a good web platform, because on netcraft, 2 out of the top 50 sites by uptime are running Windows. Wouldn't the goodness of a web platform depend on a whole bunch of things, only one of which would be uptime? And uptime would be less important than things like availability and ease of installing software. And most importantly, whether the machine has a blue or green LED for the power light. Obviously machines with blue power LEDs suck, but machines with green LEDs rock! And Windows web servers always have blue LEDs for power lights! Windows sucks and always will. They don't even know how to write drivers for green LEDs.

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297659)

You never ever mention about security in these area's.

And to me tbh its the fact we have more windows monkeys out there than real IT pro's, which is why you have these great numbers on netcraft ( and lets be fair has been an M$ biatch as of late ). How can choosing a win32 platform ( including said security issues ) for a web platform be great? let alone professional.

I am so sorry but IIS aint it.

Re:No one made it cause no one cares (2, Insightful)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296763)

I wouldn't say everyone is moving away from Windows, my last job was very Microsoft centered. Windows workstations everywhere, Exchange server, IIS servers, Microsoft SQL, Active Directory, all that bullshit.

But, I do think anyone using Windows is very unlikely to use Perl; they just seem diametrically opposed. One being used for Unix administration since large systems were in their infancy, and the other one being a the-suits-picked-it decision. At least in my (very biased) opinion.

I hope... (1)

hotfireball (948064) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296773)

But I hope, no JPerl for upcoming 0xff years ever. Otherwise I will not just "Write once and debug everywhere", but also "Write once and never look at it again".

Perl in decline, at least here (4, Insightful)

Asmodai (13932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296781)

Based on what I gather in my country the use of Perl is actually in decline, while Python's is growing. Then there's Ruby that's also popular (not sure if it proves to be stable as Python's growth though).

This does confirm, at least for me, why IronPython and IronRuby happened, but why IronPerl is nowhere in sight. Of course, YMMV in your country, but I think it is a global trend to be honest.

Re:Perl in decline, at least here (4, Insightful)

pthisis (27352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296835)

I think it's more that IronPython is basically a vanity/research project, akin to JPython/Jython a few years ago; very few people use it in practice, since the standard Python interpreter runs just fine on Windows and lets you avoid significant compatibility problems (and use all the packages that the rest of the Python world uses, seamlessly).

These "other language on my interpreter" projects _seem_ really cool, but in practice it's usually simpler and faster (both development and performance wise) to use the languages in their own interpreters and use some IPC/RPC/web services/etc to communicate with .NET (or Java, or whatever) rather than trying to shoehorn your language onto the CLI or JVM.

Re:Perl in decline, at least here (3, Informative)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296987)

Yeah Python developers tend to like Boo, which is very Python-inspired.

The CIL part of the CLI is stack-based, and is more of a "theoretically generic" intermediary language, and works for almost any purpose.

The CTS (Common Type System) does have some limits (no multiple inheritance except multiple interface inheritance). Your language implementation only has to play nice with the CTS if you want it to interoperate with other languages on the CLI. (Normally you can write an app in a whole bunch of languages and the metadata is exposed to the others - so you might choose to use C# for your core services, C++/CLI for interop work, and something like Python/Boo for your business layer).

I think the Eiffel implementation ditches the CTS, or extends it. That has its ups and downsides (mainly down imo).

Re:Perl in decline, at least here (1, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297085)

You seem to be the only other person to notice my first thought - does it really matter if the language is interpreted anyway and has a version for your platform?

I like Perl, I started using it last year and have been using it to write web apps, but when it comes to writing Windows applications I wouldn't start out using Perl. I haven't even looked much into .NET either. I've just been writing any Windows applications in Delphi - which possibly ends up compiling its code in such a way to use .NET APIs where possible, but again I haven't really looked into it :) The apps I've written with Delphi 2007 seem to work fine in Vista anyway (our MD bought a Vista machine just for the "ooh, shiny!" factor :/ ).

Re:Perl in decline, at least here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297319)

What makes you think very few people use IronPython... You're wrong. :-)

Re:Perl in decline, at least here (1)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297513)

These "other language on my interpreter" projects _seem_ really cool, but in practice it's usually simpler and faster (both development and performance wise) to use the languages in their own interpreters and use some IPC/RPC/web services/etc to communicate with .NET (or Java, or whatever) rather than trying to shoehorn your language onto the CLI or JVM.

In some cases JRuby is faster than the standard Ruby implementation. You also get access to all the services, tools, and existing libs of the JVM. It may also be easier to get it through the corporate iron wall - maintenance don't have to learn how to set up, deploy, tune and monitor a new environment, they just drop in a new jar file.

Don't know about Iron* since I try to stay away from the MS sphere, but there are quite a lot of successful JRuby apps up and running around the world, and Thoughtworks even developed an app for sale specifically based on JRuby:
http://studios.thoughtworks.com/mingle-project-intelligence [thoughtworks.com]

Re:Perl in decline, at least here (1)

PeKbM0 (1372511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297661)

To be fair, Ruby is different to most of the other "normal" scripting languages. The original interpreter written by Matz doesn't run on a VM -- instead it builds an abstract syntax tree, which is somewhat slower.

Re:Perl in decline, at least here (4, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296947)

The biggest reason is that Python is a fairly small language with a well-defined spec. It already had at least two independent implementations (in C and Java) and between them they had ironed out areas of ambiguity in the language. If you write a Python program you are programming for the defined language and usually not for the quirks of any one implementation.

Perl 5, on the other hand, is very much defined by its single implementation, full of odd quirks and things that don't really make any sense but have to be kept for compatibility. To implement a fully compatible Perl 5 you would essentially need to reproduce the guts of the existing perl source code, which is why nobody has really bothered.

Re:Perl in decline, at least here (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297017)

This does confirm, at least for me, why IronPython and IronRuby happened, but why IronPerl is nowhere in sight.

What is it with the Iron prefix and .NET-connected language implementations?

Re:Perl in decline, at least here (2, Funny)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297117)

Based on what I gather in my country the use of Perl is actually in decline, while Python's is growing.

It should be noted here that Asmodai [wikipedia.org] is in fact a demon, and therefore lives in hell. So keep that in mind before you adjust your strategies based on what languages he is using...

If you can't find a project start one. (1)

chriseyre2000 (603088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297229)

If someone wants IronPerl then why don't they start the project? It is just that no one has yet got around to scratching that itch.

Re:Perl in decline, at least here (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297377)

This does confirm, at least for me, why IronPython and IronRuby happened, but why IronPerl is nowhere in sight. Of course, YMMV in your country, but I think it is a global trend to be honest.

It's not just Microsoft's Iron* stuff. Did you notice that there's also Jython and JRuby - the latter being a Sun project, not sure about the former - but no "JPerl"?

Perl6 (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296845)

A main reason is that Perl 6, which has been in development for nearly as long as .NET, was supposed to be a VM itself. In effect, it was a competitor to .NET.

Way back when IronPython and IronRuby were starting, Perl 6 looked like it was Nearly Here, so no one thought porting Perl 5 to run on .NET was worth it. Since Perl 6 still hasn't materialized, guess it was a bad choice...

Re:Perl6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296913)

Perl 6 is 'nearly done' for ages now.

For some reason I can't quite grasp there don't seem to be many developers that can and want to help with the project. Or it is just too difficult, perhaps.

I'm not smart enough to help them, but surely there must be some developers that want help scratch this itch?

Re:Perl6 is the problem (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297047)

Unfortunately, (as perl fan), Perl6 is the problem. All the bright young things went into the death march that is Perl6 and CPAN stopped getting useful additions. Two burnout cycles later, we still don't have Perl6. Or modern, complete XML/Xpath support. Or a DBI::CSV which can do joins. Or any other number of actually useful code bits.

I'm now tossing up whether to learn Ruby or Python.

Demographics (4, Insightful)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296863)

I guess it's because most of the perl guys were Unix guys?

At any rate perl doesn't really fit into the .NET "OOP" paradigm. It has objects, but with such flexibility that every time I wanted to create an object in perl I have to look up the bless() function. Most people use it to write small, fast scripts (Activeperl on Windows takes care of that) and there aren't many medium to large scale projects (which .NET arguably does well) that use perl.

Re:Demographics (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297093)

Why does everyone keep repeating this? Just because you don't do it doesn't mean nobody does. There are tons of large projects in perl. You're using one right now.

Windows Administration language (5, Insightful)

bob8766 (1075053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296877)

I suspect people are moving to Powershell, since it's a good shell scripting language, and it's easy to load .NET assemblies among other things. I was able to learn enough powershell to do some rather useful things in a few days, and that's without having a strong shell scripting background.

Re:Windows Administration language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297599)

I would definitely agree that most people are moving to PowerShell. It is consistent, easy to learn/use and very powerful.

I think the biggest reason though is that everything that is coming out from Microsoft going forward has PowerShell commands to do things you can't even do from the GUI. Exchange is a good example. Sometimes the only way to do certain things are through PowerShell.

It is also now useful for managing VMWare ESX machines or Microsoft's Hyper-V virtual machines and a multitude of other third party plugins.

So if you manage stuff from Windows, this is pretty much the way to go.

There won't be any (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296909)

So far all attempts to re-create perl 5 were unsuccessful.

Basically Perl has so many idiosyncrasies that it's impossible to rewrite it, and it has no specification. The large test suite would help, but it's still a crazy task.

Perl 6 should change that, because it's essentially a language specification (plus a test suite as well). But as you might recall, Perl 6 is not yet ready. Sorry dude. We're working on it.

I don't think there's anything free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296921)

But ActiveState (who make one of the Win32 perl distros) has a commercial package "Perl Dev Kit" that has .NET integration -- see their feature list [activestate.com] . I haven't tried it out myself, so I can't comment on how well it works.

If you need to just use .NET components from Perl, you could always use the expose the .NET interfaces over COM and then use Win32::OLE to access them.

Part of the problem is that Perl is not a specified language; the specification is the Perl interpreter itself (see the "Design" section from the wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] )

Perl developers are like Democrat voters (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296923)

Q: Why are Perl developers are like Democrat voters?

A: There aren't many of them left, and the ones that are left need to be spanked, until they give up their bad habits, doggonnit!

Re:Perl developers are like Democrat voters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297437)

That's not even worth a Troll mod - much less a 'fixed that for you'.

Try harder next time.

Try asking "PerlMonks" (4, Informative)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296937)

PerlMonks [perlmonks.org] is the right place to ask this question, IMO. You'll be posing the question to a lot of very experienced Perl users who might have similar experiences to yours, or good advice on what to do next. The PM community is friendly and very helpful as well.

ActivePerl (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297015)

When .NET 1.0 was released, ActiveState released Visual Perl [activestate.com] , the product is dead since 2005, so probably nobody wanted it.

Re:ActivePerl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297055)

When .NET 1.0 was released, ActiveState released Visual Perl [activestate.com] , the product is dead since 2005, so probably nobody wanted it.

Visual Perl was their Visual Studio integration for Perl. It allowed you to create VS.NET projects that were Perl projects and interactively debug them using the VS debugger. It's different from the .NET integration, which is in the Perl Dev Kit.

Don't fight it - Perl is here to stay! (4, Insightful)

cynicsreport (1125235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297039)

I know... Python and Ruby and Java are the hot languages, and you think Perl is going the way of COBOL. Well f*ck it - I like perl. And, there are some great reasons to use it:
1. I already know it. I learned it before Ruby was "cool".
2. It's already installed on every Linux and BSD machine. Yes, that means I can run my script on your brand new Ubuntu desktop, or your 1998 BSD server. And it'll work.
3. Great Regex support (am not saying your language de-jour doesn't, just that perl does)
4. CPAN is one of the most extensive software libraries known to mankind.
5. It really doesn't matter if you use it or not - perl is here for the long haul. Too many linux utilities depend on it. My linux box doesn't have ruby or python installed, and I haven't had any problems. Try deleting perl from yours!

So, if you are like me, you already know Perl. Maybe you don't use windows at home, but you have to use it at work. I suggest you download Strawberry Perl [strawberryperl.com] (or go all-out with cygwin [cygwin.com] ).
Unfortunately, there does not seem to be great support for perl with .NET. So, I guess we have to stick with the Win32 CPAN modules you already know about.
But maybe, just maybe, someone will come along one day... and viola! Perl.NET!

Until that day comes, I will continue to use perl anyway, and all of you Haters out there can go $@_{s/;//g}!

Re:Don't fight it - Perl is here to stay! (5, Interesting)

neuromanc3r (1119631) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297193)

My linux box doesn't have ruby or python installed, and I haven't had any problems. Try deleting perl from yours!

What distribution are you running? Every distribution I've used had Python installed by default for years (and would break terribly if you tried to remove it).

Re:Don't fight it - Perl is here to stay! (1)

ribasushi (1264638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297221)

I for one have no python installed on all my Debian/Testing servers, nor on my Debian/Sid workstation. Nothing seems to break.

Re:Don't fight it - Perl is here to stay! (3, Insightful)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297253)

Unfortunately, bare-bones Debian lacks Python, although hopefully recent popularity-contest results will make it more likely to be part of a default install.

Re:Don't fight it - Perl is here to stay! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297463)

Unfortunately, bare-bones Debian lacks Python, although hopefully recent popularity-contest results will make it more likely to be part of a default install.

s/Unf/F/

Why is there this assumption that everyone is okay with additional interpreters being added to base installs? The only requirement I have for python is when it's pulled into my tool chain via Scons and I'm not happy about that. If it was worth writing a new build tool, it was worth writing it in C.

Where does the stupidity stop? When every single thing on the system has been rewritten in someones pet scripting language du jour? When every program requires its own interpreter? Oh and lets not forget how "cool" it'd be if the runtime of every pet scripting language was embedded directly in common web browsers. Yes Cletus, that sure would be 'great'!

Re:Don't fight it - Perl is here to stay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297673)

On the other hand, RedHat 5.2 had startup scripts written in Python, because I remember having to debug the bloody things.

Re:Don't fight it - Perl is here to stay! (5, Insightful)

Catharsis (246331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297383)

So your arguments for why Perl is great to use are:

1) I know it.
2) I have it.
3) (irrelevant)
4) YAY CPAN
5) Not a reason to use it?

So, uh, yeah, CPAN is awesome, but "I know it and it's installed." aren't really strong advocacy arguments.

No offense, but this isn't exactly Insightful, particularly given that (aside from good old CPAN) there's really nothing in there that isn't true for Python on almost all systems people will encounter these days.

Re:Don't fight it - Perl is here to stay! (1)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297409)

Fine.

So how does this little rant answer the question?

So don't change. (4, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297137)

Why would you want to rewrite to use .NET, I mean c'mon Perl programmers are known for their objectivity and pragmatism. Rewrite in .NET before you *have* to, forget it!

There's 2 things to consider before you go changing your code:

1. COM may be 'oh, that old thing we no longer talk about' to Microsoft, but it isn't going away anytime soon, no matter what their marketing department tells you. There's a fair bit of code written that uses it.

2. One of those codebases that is heavily reliant on COM (and Win32) is this .NET thing, a lot of the class library is a wrapper around the old libraries. So even if you did rewrite your code, all you'd be doing is calling your old libraries through a intermediate layer!

Sure MS doesn't want to do IronPerl, I think that's because python and Ruby are 'cool' languages, and MS is trying to be like someone's Dad, 'getting hip with the kids'. I doubt it'll ever create an IronPerl simply because there's no mileage in it for them to entice the Perl developers over to Windows unlike the Python and Ruby folks that they're scared of losing to other platforms.

apparently (3, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297337)

Well, apparently, nobody in the Perl community cared enough about it to create it. Do you care enough to start such a project.

I suspect most people probably thought it was easier to switch to a different language that did support the environment they needed. I know I did.

Been in similar shoes (4, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297391)

I have been in similar shoes some time ago.

I wouldn't elaborate on the all boring details, but just shortly summarize my experience.

If you can Perl, then you better off porting your stuff to Linux. Perl on Windows sounds cool and ActiveState does excellent job. But Perl would always remain underdog, restrained by the fact that its foreign platform - platform where VB rules.

I know I sound impractical, but after two years trying to make some stuff fly reliably on Windows with CygWin and ActiveState, I simply given up. I given up on Windows mostly because I found that all stuff I need, on Linux is very similar and (most importantly) there are no all those stupid CygWin and OLE/ActiveX annoyances and periodic breakages. For my application, near doubled performances was only an extra bonus.

If you plan to remain on Windows, you have to accept and start doing it in VB or C# or whatever is language du jour in Redmond.

If you depend on Perl, then thinking in direction of *nix platform is sound choice. (Or even some VMware or VBox setup with Linux guest.)

P.S. My work was related to processing of .xls files with huge amount of statistical data and making some charts for them. On Linux that was solved beautifully with (1) telling people to export info as CSV (extra bonus: smaller files) and (2) gnuplot output charts to PDF. Frankly, in the end it worked magnitudes better than the setup with ActiveState Perl/Excel/WinWord/etc on Windows.

Re:Been in similar shoes (4, Informative)

adamkennedy (121032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297575)

You probably should have had a look at Strawberry Perl [strawberryperl.com] .

Most of the Perl technocrati abandoned ActivePerl for it over the last year, because all the CPAN modules Just Work.

(Full Disclosure: I made Strawberry) :)

Re:Been in similar shoes (2, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297651)

Thanks for the info!

A 100% Open Source CPAN-capable Perl for all your Windows® computers that works exactly the same as Perl everywhere else.

Does that mean it also has fork()?

But honestly, to me properly functioning select() (with both pipes and sockets) is already more than enough.
Though admittedly I do not have plans to go back to Windows.

perl missed several boats, sadly (5, Insightful)

orabidoo (9806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297425)

Opinionated post follows, feel free to ignore or disagree....

Perl is the original language that taught a whole generation of programmers that you don't have to write 1000s of lines to do a simple thing. I love its expressiveness, its design philosophy (There's More Than One Way To Do It) and its linguistic roots. Despite being known for write-only shit, actually writing clean, maintainable code in perl is a pure pleasure. It just gives you the extra bit of latitude in your coding, that what you write can express not just what you want done, but a little extra bit of how you think of it... by using "unless" instead of "if" at times, putting the conditionals after the statement at others, you can actually make the code read like the main points are main points, adn the accessory checks are accessory. I love that flexibility.

For years, perl was the secret productivity tool of many. What others would spend weeks writing in C++ or java whatever, a perl coder would prototype in a day or two, and often the result was good enough to be declared final. And with the amazing collaboration experiment called CPAN, there was a good chance you would find a module to do the heavly lifting for you, and the two days could be shortened to a couple hours.

Sadly, the perl development community missed not one, but two boats.

First, it missed the second wave of web programming. Perl was virtually synonymous with CGI programming, but then the web world moved on to embedding code inside the HTML, which is a rather crappy combination but is easy to start with. So the perl guys produce mod_perl and about a thousand templating kits, which all together made mod_perl a powerful, scalable, flexible web platform that was at the same time confusing, hard to learn, and unfriendly towards shared hosts. And then PHP came to fulfil that need, with their bastardized watered down clone of the language, and basically stole the show.

Second, the perl community in all their wisdom, back in 2000, decided that the whole language needed to be redesigned from scratch, and built on a new generic virtual machine for dynamic languages, which would run not only perl6 but also python, tcl, logo, and who knows what else. They embarked on a prolonged process of design by committee, which 8 years later has just managed to produce a variety of incomplete specifications, and two incomplete prototypes of the language interpreter, with no completion date nor any backwards compatibility to be seen. In the meantime, the whole .NET framework has been created and gone through several iterations, Ruby has risen from obscurity to fame, etc. For all we know, perl6 may still one day reach completion, and be a useful language. The design specs are way cool, and the people implementing it sound like they are having fun.

So what happens with perl and .NET? Well, not much. Apparently ActiveState have at some point developped a bridge of some kind, but I can't find it in CPAN. There's Inline::Java, but no Inline::CSharp. Maybe no-one cares enough. It's true that the target demographics for perl and .NET are quite separate, but that should not be a reason for the language that pioneered interfacing with everything on earth.

Cygwin (0)

Delgul (515042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297611)

Under cygwin it works afaik.

Furthermore I would strongly advise you wise up, pop in an Ubuntu CD, and ditch .NET altogether. But that's just my 2 cents.

COM deprecated ?? (2, Interesting)

savuporo (658486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297649)

Dude, in which world is COM deprecated ? Effectively most of Windows system programming ( plug-ins, filters, extensions yada yada, especially the parts that concern shell, explorer or IE extensions ) are all exposed through COM intefacts still. In some cases we still have simple C interfaces like for device drivers, and a lot of security or crypto related stuff. So WDYM deprecated ?
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